Pitt Undergraduate Receives 2012 Woodrow Wilson- Rockefeller Brothers Fund Teaching Fellowship

Issue Date: 
February 6, 2012
Christell Boyd-AbnerChristell Boyd-Abner

Christell Boyd-Abner, a University of Pittsburgh senior in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences who is majoring in psychology with related studies in sociology, has been selected to receive the 2012 Woodrow Wilson- Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship (WWRBF) for Aspiring Teachers of Color. Boyd-Abner is among 25 individuals nationwide selected for the third cohort of WW-RBF recipients.

Chosen through a competitive selection process, each WW-RBF aspiring teacher receives a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education, preparation to teach in a high-need public school, support throughout a three-year teaching commitment, and guidance toward teaching certification.

The Pitt School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching program is among the graduate school programs Boyd-Abner, of Philadelphia, is considering.

A first-generation college student, Boyd-Abner is an active member of Pitt’s Reaching Inside of Yourself for Excellence (RISE) Mentoring Program, which works to boost retention and graduation rates of underrepresented groups in postsecondary institutions. She received RISE’s Stand-Out Student Award given to those who exemplify hard work and dedication to “upholding the standards of a RISE student.”

Boyd-Abner has served as a volunteer in Philadelphia Freedom Schools and, prior to transferring from the Pitt-Bradford regional campus to the University’s Pit tsburgh campus, tutored Bradford students in College Algebra 2. Through WeDoBigThings-Philadelphia, whose mission is to “socioeconomically diversify postsecondary institutions,” Boyd-Abner mentors inner-city youth who are aspiring college/ university enrollees. This past fall, she was inducted into Psi Chi: The International Honor Society in Psychology.

Established in 1992 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), the Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color were created to help recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as public education teachers and administrators. Since the program’s inception, RBF has awarded nearly $8 million in grants and financial assistance to 400 fellows. In January 2009, it transferred the program to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.